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Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@arkane wrote:

Either way, as you discovered, card is already activated in the mail (!!), so just tap away upon receiving.


I can see that being a security risk.  Someone could grab the envelope, tap the card without even opening it, then put it back in the mail.  They should be sent out unactivated.

 

Message 11 of 23
arkane
Established Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@yfan wrote:

@arkane wrote:

Yep they're rolling it out in stages. Curious that you got a contactless for the Cash Rewards, but when I called in they told me it was only available on the Premium Rewards for me.

 

Either way, as you discovered, card is already activated in the mail (!!), so just tap away upon receiving. And yes tap is great, even works on these crappy Ingenico terminals that will read contactless cards, but fail even with Samsung Pay's MST. Smiley Mad Kinda makes me wonder what the deal is exactly.


Heh. My guess is that banks want to be able to give consumers the convenience of tap-to-pay, but they'd still rather have you use the physical card and not your phone, at least most of the time. So they're putting the feature on the cards. By and large Americans haven't gotten used to using their phones to pay, and credit card issuers may not want us to. Because that depersonalizes the card, and worse, if you choose the path of least resistance and don't pick a card for every transaction, your phone goes with the default card, which may or may not be the one a given bank issued.


I'd argue anyone who's savvy enough to use mobile wallets (not that it requires a lot of savviness but I digress...) would most likely not make the rookie mistake of just defaulting to the first card. Also if I could, I'd completely ditch the physical card in favor of mobile wallets, because the tokenization adds a very important layer of security, especially in this day and age where companies seem to leak data left right and center.

 


@Anonymous wrote:

@arkane wrote:

Either way, as you discovered, card is already activated in the mail (!!), so just tap away upon receiving.


I can see that being a security risk.  Someone could grab the envelope, tap the card without even opening it, then put it back in the mail.  They should be sent out unactivated.

 


It is and I agree, but the problem is they'd have to cancel your current card and issue you a new one with a different number. Unless there's a way to distinguish between two functionally identical cards (same #, same CVV, same expiration date, same cardholder name), and the only difference being one has an RFID tag and one doesn't, I think that's what they've settled on for now. But hey, since these are credit cards, they'll be the ones eating the fradulent charges in the end, so I'm not overly concerned about it for the time being.

 

Although Amex has certainly recognized that issue, and when I requested a contactless card, I was told even though I could keep my existing card #, the CVV would change for security purposes, and I'd have to activate the card again. Sure enough that was the case, and the card had not just a new CVV but also a new expiration date. Probably the best compromise I suppose between convenience and security.

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6/8/20:

Message 12 of 23
coldfusion
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?

Just to add a data point:  my Cash Rewards card and my BoA debit card were both replaced with contactless cards. 



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Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 13 of 23
tmiw
Established Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@Anonymous wrote:

@arkane wrote:

Either way, as you discovered, card is already activated in the mail (!!), so just tap away upon receiving.


I can see that being a security risk.  Someone could grab the envelope, tap the card without even opening it, then put it back in the mail.  They should be sent out unactivated.

 


Citi seems to mandate that you insert first before tapping works, which might be okay if Citi actually told people about it in the literature that came with the card. I don't know how much people would like that being a thing, though.

Message 14 of 23
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@arkane wrote:. Sure enough that was the case, and the card had not just a new CVV but also a new expiration date. Probably the best compromise I suppose between convenience and security.

OT, but CVV is a computed value that uses expiration date as one input.   So expiration date has to change if CVV does (though the causality is the other way round!)

Message 15 of 23
yfan
Valued Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@tmiw wrote:

IMO, without Apple, I highly doubt banks would have even considered contactless cards a second time. Remember, they were tried a decade ago and failed miserably. Even now, only a few major banks have announced adding support, with the vast majority waiting on the sidelines to see how this second attempt works out.

 

As for how Apple plays into it, they're basically the reason most merchants didn't simply buy chip terminals without NFC hardware back when the migration first started happening. And despite them, a significant number of merchants (mainly restaurants, but definitely others too) still went with hardware with NFC disabled at best, if not outright impossible; imagine what would have happened if Apple had waited even a year or two to launch Apple Pay in the US.

Also, if AP was more commonly used, banks may have made more effort towards, say, no longer issuing physical cards by default. After all, contactless cards are still more expensive than non-contactless (though the differential's been dropping), with any card more expensive than not issuing one. Good enough rewards would be able to overcome most obstacles to being top of "wallet", despite the form that the wallet takes.


Actually, I think that while Apple has led the adoption of tap-to-pay, it hasn't had much impact on equipment. And even that in the United States. Europe and Asia-Pacific had been going moving to contactless for a good while before Apple Pay was announced in 2014. That year, Japan hit 1 million tap-to-pay terminal, and Singapore had 1 million contactless Visa transactions monthly in 2013.

 

In terms of terminals, merchants switched to the chip reader terminals not because of Apple but because of deadlines and shifts in liability imposed by card networks. Most of those terminals came contactless equipped, I think, less because of Apple Pay and more because of a need to mass-produce these things throughout an international market. I don't think Apple releases tap-to-pay growth data separately than just "Apple Pay", which also includes any mobile payments, including those for buying from the App Store, in-app purchases, etc.

Message 16 of 23
yfan
Valued Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@arkane wrote:


I'd argue anyone who's savvy enough to use mobile wallets (not that it requires a lot of savviness but I digress...) would most likely not make the rookie mistake of just defaulting to the first card. Also if I could, I'd completely ditch the physical card in favor of mobile wallets, because the tokenization adds a very important layer of security, especially in this day and age where companies seem to leak data left right and center.


You have a point, and I would agree, if I thought the use and adoption of mobile wallets, for the mass market rather than credit card afficionados, were about savvy rather than convenience. I think it's the other way around. It's about convenience (like not having to take out, or even carry your wallet). And it's convenient to just wave the phone rather than going into a payment app and screwing around with cards.

 

Tokenization is, I agree, a great security feature. But I think my point is that banks are betting that the convenience of (a) not having to change much of people's habits - people are still by and large used to pulling a card out of their wallet, and (b) a much faster transaction by tapping rather than inserting will keep people (most people) from switching to using their phones to pay at stores. People often tend to prioritize convenience over security as a behavioral matter.

Message 17 of 23
arkane
Established Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@yfan wrote:

@arkane wrote:


I'd argue anyone who's savvy enough to use mobile wallets (not that it requires a lot of savviness but I digress...) would most likely not make the rookie mistake of just defaulting to the first card. Also if I could, I'd completely ditch the physical card in favor of mobile wallets, because the tokenization adds a very important layer of security, especially in this day and age where companies seem to leak data left right and center.


You have a point, and I would agree, if I thought the use and adoption of mobile wallets, for the mass market rather than credit card afficionados, were about savvy rather than convenience. I think it's the other way around. It's about convenience (like not having to take out, or even carry your wallet). And it's convenient to just wave the phone rather than going into a payment app and screwing around with cards.

 

Tokenization is, I agree, a great security feature. But I think my point is that banks are betting that the convenience of (a) not having to change much of people's habits - people are still by and large used to pulling a card out of their wallet, and (b) a much faster transaction by tapping rather than inserting will keep people (most people) from switching to using their phones to pay at stores. People often tend to prioritize convenience over security as a behavioral matter.


You're 100% correct, and the sad irony here is that mobile wallets ARE much faster than the traditional method -- it's essentially tap to pay, only you're tapping with your phone instead of the physical card. And the added security from tokenization is just cherry on top.

 

But because of stubborness and resistance from the merchant side, even with Samsung Pay's MST, it's still very much hit or miss. As I've mentioned, I was flabbergasted when some archaic Ingenico terminals worked with my tap card, but would not read my mobile wallet no matter how hard I tried. Collusion (with banks) at its finest I say. Smiley Mad

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6/8/20:

Message 18 of 23
tmiw
Established Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@yfan wrote:


Actually, I think that while Apple has led the adoption of tap-to-pay, it hasn't had much impact on equipment. And even that in the United States. Europe and Asia-Pacific had been going moving to contactless for a good while before Apple Pay was announced in 2014. That year, Japan hit 1 million tap-to-pay terminal, and Singapore had 1 million contactless Visa transactions monthly in 2013.

 

In terms of terminals, merchants switched to the chip reader terminals not because of Apple but because of deadlines and shifts in liability imposed by card networks. Most of those terminals came contactless equipped, I think, less because of Apple Pay and more because of a need to mass-produce these things throughout an international market. I don't think Apple releases tap-to-pay growth data separately than just "Apple Pay", which also includes any mobile payments, including those for buying from the App Store, in-app purchases, etc.


I'm not disagreeing about the reasons for chip terminals, but the US is a big enough market that Verifone and Ingenico (the most common terminal providers in the US) among others would easily have sold chip terminals without NFC hardware if retailers demanded it--even if sold nowhere else. Apple Pay coming out at the right time simply made that a much harder thing for retailers to justify doing.

 

In fact, despite contactless adoption finally being a possibility, Toast and Clover (among possibly others) still have solutions that allow merchants not to provide anything customer facing, never mind anything with NFC. However, Clover at the very least does offer the possibility of having a customer-facing NFC reader by purchasing the correct receipt printer--not to mention that they still sell various other hardware to enable NFC acceptance in certain environments (like pay at the table in the case of restaurants).

Message 19 of 23
yfan
Valued Contributor

Re: Is BofA Going Contactless and Replacing Current Cards?


@tmiw wrote:


I'm not disagreeing about the reasons for chip terminals, but the US is a big enough market that Verifone and Ingenico (the most common terminal providers in the US) among others would easily have sold chip terminals without NFC hardware if retailers demanded it--even if sold nowhere else. Apple Pay coming out at the right time simply made that a much harder thing for retailers to justify doing.


Sure, but why would merchants demand a non-NFC terminal, with or without Apple Pay? It's no skin off their backs so why would they want something other than what was by then the global standard for payment terminals anyway (NFC and chip reader)?

Message 20 of 23
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